fbpx

Save Essential News!

Donate Today!

Donor Supporters

Jessie Ong

Alhambra Source provides objective and important news reporting for our community.

Efren Moreno, Former Alhambra Mayor

Thank you Alhambra Source for truly informing the residents of Alhambra.

Jeff Maloney, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source has become an important source for news, public interest, and serious journalism in our community. Keep it up!

Sara Harris

As a career journalist and EJ advocate, I see community-based media like the Alhambra Source as crucial to democracy and equality.

Chris Olson

I support Alhambra Source as often as I can because I believe a free and independent press is vital to the democratic process. No other news outlet with high journalistic standards consistently covers the stories and issues that matter to our community.

Adele Andrade Stadler, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source is a great independent newspaper that celebrates the communities and is not afraid to ask the tough questions!

Cliff Bender, Vice President, Alhambra Education Foundation

I want to know what's going on in my community- News, events, and human interest stories. The Alhambra Source gives me the information I need.

Joyce & Oscar Amaro, Alhambra Preservation Group

We support Alhambra Source because this online news source is vitally important in engaging, informing and educating the residents of Alhambra.

Laura Vasquez

Alhambrans need to know the truth about our area!

Michael Lawrence, Alhambra Arts Commissioner

Keep bringing on the stories. The Source has given us so much and I am happy to donate to such an important part of our community.

Karsen Luthi

Thank you for creating Alhambra Source and providing timely reporting of important local news. Fight on!

Mr. Konnyaku

I support news reporting that is unbiased and informative. Really enjoy the excellent coverage on local city council and planning commission meetings.

Guadulesa Rivera

Alhambra Source unifies the community and keeps us involved.

Erwin Lee

Such a valuable source of what’s happening in city where we live. Objective reporting that informs us and allows us to come to our own conclusions.

Raising funds for Mimi: Alhambra community comes together for 24-year-old resident afflicted with rare disease

Mimi Alvarez emailed Councilman Gary Yamauchi in January asking for help selling her dog. Alvarez, 24, was diagnosed in 2007 with porphyria, a rare disorder that causes extreme sensitivity to light, severe abdominal pain, and nausea. Then in 2012, Mimi found out she had Lyme disease, and her insurance did not cover treatment. Facing mounting medical bills, the Alhambra resident put her pure bred Yorkshire terrier up for sale for $1,000.

Henry Alvarez speaks at a press conference about his daughter's condition. | Photo by Nasrin AboulhosnWhen the councilman received Alvarez's plea, instead of offering to buy the dog, he reached out to his Alhambra contacts and asked for donations. Residents and organizations — including Alhambra's trash and recycling company Republic Services/Allied Waste, Alhambra Firefighters Association, and Goudy Honda — dropped off and mailed contributions. The councilman handed a check on March 18 to Mimi's father Henry Alvarez for $5,870, the first chunk from his on-going fundraising campaign.

 

"I thank each and every one of you," Henry said at a press conference at Alhambra City Hall. "I'm proud to be part of the city…They've been so supportive, I just don't have the words to say how grateful and thankful we are."

Although she is forced to spend most of her life in seclusion and treatment, Henry says Mimi's strength is what keeps him, her mother, and 16-year-old brother going. "She's always had a good, positive attitude towards this whole thing. She has a very strong faith in the Lord, and that's what's kept her going," Henry said. "She's just a fighter. The only thing I can say is that she's been my wife's and my inspiration."

This was not the first time Yamauchi and Alhambra community members came together for the Alvarez family. When Mimi was 17, her family found a doctor in Boston who specialized in porphyria and invited them to visit for diagnosis and treatment. Due to her extreme light sensitivity, commercial air lines weren't able to take Mimi on board. The Alvarez family was forced to take a private jet to Boston.

From right to left: Henry Alvarez, Gary Yamauchi, a representative from Allied-Waste, Linda Yamauchi | Photo by Nasrin AboulhosnYamauchi and his wife Linda, upon learning about Mimi’s situation, launched a fundraising effort. "We contacted the organizations in Alhambra, like the Rotary Club, police and fire departments, YMCA, and the Chamber of Commerce. Everybody in town pitched in to help. It was just incredible," Yamauchi said. "We raised over $35,000 at that time."

 

The Alvarez family was scheduled to stay in Boston for two weeks but ended up staying for two months. The community's donation helped support them in Boston and enabled Mimi to stay long enough to receive diagnosis and treatment.

 

The Yamauchis felt the need to reach out and help the Alvarez family, not just as community leaders, but as parents. "I can't even imagine. I have three young boys," said Linda Yamauchi. "I just think how fortunate you are when you have healthy children."

 

Henry says Mimi has been receiving treatments for Lyme disease and they seem to be helping, but her porphyria, especially her sensitivity to light, is getting worse. Now even through gloves, light rays will still pierce and break her skin.

 

The Alvarez family is hoping to start a foundation in Mimi's name and use her illness as a way to help others in the community. "I'm sure there's others more needy than my family that could use this type of help," Henry said. "Hopefully something really positive can come out of this."

 

Anyone interested in contributing to Mimi's fund can mail a donation to Alhambra City Hall, Attn: Gary Yamauchi, 111 S 1st St, Alhambra, Calif. Please make all checks out to Henry Alvarez.

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

Leave a Reply

1 thought on “Raising funds for Mimi: Alhambra community comes together for 24-year-old resident afflicted with rare disease”

  1. Please help support this young man struggling with Lyme disease!!!

    www.gofundme.com/anthonyslymediseasefund

    Thank you!!

Stay Informed.

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter.

For fact-based COVID-19 coverage, AUSD and Alhambra City Hall happenings that impact your life subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter.

Is coronavirus coverage valuable to you?

Save quality, fact-based journalism that serves the diverse communities of the Western San Gabriel Valley.

Do you have a question you would like to ask Alhambra candidates?

Ask your Alhambra City Council OR your Alhambra Unified School Board Candidates a question ahead of the 2020 elections!